The United States under-23 men's national team learned their group opponents for the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament on Tuesday. The draw for the event was held in Los Angeles, California and USMNT legends Eddie Lewis and Brad Friedel were on hand to assist with the drawing of groups.
Eight teams will participate in the tournament for 2.5 spots in the Olympics. Two groups of four will compete with the top two finishers advancing to the semifinals. Group A winner will play the Group B runner-up and vice versa.
The two winners of the semifinal matches will advance to the Olympics. The two losers will play each other with the winner of that game advancing to a one-game playoff against Colombia in March for the last ticket to Rio 2016.
The U.S. were drawn into a group with Cuba, Canada, and Panama. Debatably the easier of the two groups.
Panama, the toughest opponent for the Americans, will be the first test on October 1 (6 p.m. PT, Kansas City). Then they take on Cuba on October 3 (2 p.m. PT, Kansas City), and finish up group play on October 6 (6:30 p.m. PT, Denver).
While no group in CONCACAF is easy, the U.S. will be favorites to win their group. It will likely come down to who they have to play in the semifinals to clinch an automatic birth to the Olympics.
Group A: USA, Cuba, Canada, Panama